Drama Games: Techniques for Self-Development

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1989-12-01
  • Publisher: HCI BOOKS
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Experiential therapy is used to locate repressed feelings and re-experience them. Once we feel them in the present, we can come to terms with them and put them in their proper perspective. We can use our energies to truly enter into the moment with all our awareness. The quality of our happiness lies in our ability to experience what is around us. Feelings are often attached to roles. When we experiment with different roles we gain information about our personal history and play with new possibilities for change. Games help us to increase concentration, develop thinking skills and to coordinate thought, emotion and action. They are a way to allow humor and fun to enter into the therapeutic process. This book is designed to help participants get in touch with and express buried feelings in a safe and structured way and to offer training in the ability to be creative and spontaneous.


IntroductionSince the cultural revolution and growth potential movement of the '60s and 7()s, games have increasingly come into use in group settings. They are a natural way of bonding a group and creating trust. They provide an opportunity to experiment with ourselves and others while still in a safe environment. In our work-oriented culture we leave little time for nongoal-oriented activity such as play and celebration. We have put ourselves in a bind. We have created the most affluent and privileged lifestyle in the world but we lack the time and ability to relax and enjoy it. Games not only help us explore ourselves, they are a re-training in spontaneity, deepening our ability to experience and enjoy life.The GamesThere are two types of games in this book. First there are group games that are led by a facilitator and done by the group as a whole. Second there are individual pieces either done during group by each group member and then shared with the group, or taken home and then shared with a therapist or brought back to the group. Use this book as you would a cookbook. Cull from it what you like and vary it wherever you feel like doing so. It should give you the basic information you need and provide a point of departure.GoalsExperiential games can be very useful in moving a group gently into action. They enable a group to break down initial inhibitions quickly and begin to feel comfortable. A therapist also has a chance to watch how group members behave in the large group games and in the individual pieces that are shared with the group. Thus the games provide a structure for the therapist to get to know group members and the group members to know one another in a non-threatening way.Role Of The Group LeaderThe therapist's job is to create a supportive, safe situation in which self-discovery through experimentation can happen. As J. L. Moreno, the father of psychodrama says, "The stage is enough.ö The therapist acts as a catalyst between the player and the environment, helping the player help themself by offering the stage as a mirror where the player can experience himself. Simply speaking out and being heard or seen, without comment or judgment, is part of the work and healing in these games. The opportunity to experiment with different roles, to "try them for size,ö moving in and out of them in a game-like way is important here. The re-education of spontaneity, allowing the "inner child" to become a part of the life of the adult, happens naturally in a playful atmosphere. The role of the group leader is to be supportive and give each player the feeling that what they present to the group will not be judged harshly. It is also necessary for the leader to create respect for the ground rules and enforce them.Creating The AtmosphereThe most successful approach to any creative effort lies in drawing on the talent and ideas of the individual. As the leader you will want the environment to be very affirmative. En

Excerpted from Drama Games: Techniques for Self-Development by Tian Dayton, Tian Dayton,
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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